Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making the Academic and Membership Case for FCCLA!

By Michael L. Benjamin, M.P.H., CAE, Executive Director 

As students move through their academic career, many are looking for that competitive edge of not only being better leaders but at times of just being a better student.  In our most recent research of students taking Family and Consumer Sciences courses, we found that over 67% of students indicated that FCCLA and Family and Consumer Sciences have had a positive impact on their academic performances.  In fact high school seniors are more likely than students at other grade levels to report a positive effect from FCCLA on their academic performances.  So if you’re looking to expand your chapter’s membership this year, let your students know that being involved in FCCLA will give them that competitive edge!  Also, get involved with our 2012-2013 Membership Campaign.  Our national goal for 2013: 213,000 members.  For more information on the iRecruit Campaign, go to

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Social Networking Strategies

By Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

When you hear the word “wall” do you think about part of a room or your Facebook page?  When you hear the word “tweet” do you think about an update from an organization you care about or a sound that birds make?  Whether you are a seasoned pro with everything the Internet has to offer or are just beginning to explore social networking, here are some tips to keep you productive and your audience involved in what you have to say.

First, don’t be afraid to be repetitive.  It is okay to publish something a week ahead followed with another notice a few hours beforehand.  When people see your information posted once they will think about it, but, your success rate is higher if it ends up being seen closer to the time of the event.

Second, engage your audience.  Rather than your social networking just being a place to share information, get your readers involved by asking trivia questions, offering prizes, or getting suggestions for various projects.

Finally, try sending updates during live events.  Now I’m not suggesting that you get your phone out and send updates in the middle of someone’s wedding.   However, while you’re at an FCCLA chapter meeting or completing a service project, snap a picture and upload it to your social networking site.  It’s a great chance to not only advertise your students at their best but also to catalog your chapter’s accomplishments and activities throughout the year.

For additional ideas on using social networking, check out articles online, or even better, ask your students!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Train Your Officers

By Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team

Successful chapters have student leaders who are capable of accepting a variety of leadership roles. The big question is how do we prepare our students for the roles of leaders in our chapters? Honestly there is not just one answer to this question and the best teachers are time and action.

Officer training begins well before elections take place. Planning activities, working on projects, or participating on national program teams afford students the opportunity to develop skills in communication, collaboration, and commitment while providing a service to their community. Leadership development during chapter activities is important to allow students to practice new skills in a safe environment.  Establishing a committee for a project consisting of older more experienced members and younger less experienced members allows older members to take on a mentor role.

Many states offer a leadership retreat for state and district officers to assist with leadership training. If your state doesn’t, consider planning your own with other chapter advisers within your district, area or region. There are countless leadership activity resources available online or from libraries. Make the retreat interactive with games and activities which get them up and moving. If you haven’t seen the show Minute to Win It, watch it, they have great activities which could be done by teams in a relay format.

If you are looking for a great way for your local officers to bond as a team, have them prepare a meal. Student officers are given a budget, they have to plan the menu, shop for supplies and actually prepare the meal together in one kitchen.  If the conversation at the meal seems strained, have a couple of table games prepared ahead of time.  For instance, have each person jot down an interesting fact about themselves that they don’t think the others know about them. Fold the slips of paper and redistribute them.  One at a time each person reads the statement and everyone tries to decide who the statement is about.

Set up a time for officers to meet outside of class to work together to manage chapter meetings, develop agendas, and discuss goals for their officer team. Provide opportunities for officers to communicate outside of established meeting times as well by providing mail boxes, exchanging phone numbers, establishing a private Facebook group or using email.

Establish clear expectations for officers at the beginning of their term of office. Provide information in whatever format works best for your team and use a combination of methods. During the early months, check with officers daily or weekly to provide assistance with managing projects and activities then as the year progresses pull back and allow them to explore their potential as leaders.

I look forward to hearing other ideas on training chapter officers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please Welcome to the Stage. . . .DONNA

By Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

Perhaps you talked with Donna Corder in the Adviser Resource Room or maybe you got some great ideas in one of her sessions.  No matter when you saw her, once you got through her thick Texas accent, you learned very quickly that Donna Corder loves FCCLA.

Donna Corder is the newest member of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America National Consultant Team and comes from Lubbock, Texas.  Donna enters the team with a wide variety of experiences in education including teaching Kindergarten for 5 years.  However, since 2004, she has been a high school teacher and FCCLA Adviser and has “loved every minute of it.”  One might say that being in this field is in her blood as her own grandmother was a FACS teacher and FCCLA adviser. 

Donna has had some great opportunities in FCCLA but of everything FCCLA has to offer, her favorite is thing is watching the growth and development of her students.    Donna says, “I cannot even begin with the many stories of students that have had drastic life changes from being involved in FCCLA.  The opportunities that FCCLA provides separate these students from their classmates.  People ask me why I give so much to FCCLA and the answer is clear.  FCCLA changes peoples’ lives and develops strong leaders for our future.” 

In addition to everything Donna does in the classroom and chapter, she also enjoys many hobbies.  Her favorite, most relaxing hobby, is to design and sew formal dresses.    In addition to making most of her own daughters’ formals, she alters and makes formals on her own time for students as well. Donna also enjoys reading Christian fiction and self-help books as well as watching movies.

So the next time you hear someone speaking passionately about FCCLA followed by the word, “ya’ll,” look for Donna’s smiling face and make sure you have materials to take some notes, because she has lots of great ideas to share.  Welcome to the NCT, Donna Corder! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join FCCLA!!!

With the beginning of a new school year approaching, we once again turn our focus and efforts toward membership.  FCCLA ended on a positive note with membership numbers last year as we soared past the 200,000 mark!  Final affiliation counts showed FCCLA increasing membership and we are now striving to reach even more students in the 2012-2013 school year.  

Our first effort to increase membership is the release of the new 2012-2013 Join FCCLA membership kit.  The membership kit CD is divided in five sections: New Advisers, Returning Advisers, Occupational Advisers, Youth Leaders, and Resources. On this CD, you will find many new and updated resources, including help to integrate FCCLA into the classroom, FCCLA lesson plans, project and recruitment ideas, and much more!  Also included is a new FCCLA Membership Video to help promote FCCLA in your chapter! We hope you will find the CD beneficial when planning for the year and that you will use these materials to encourage your members to recruit, retain, and be recognized.  Membership kits will be mailed August 1, 2012 so be on the lookout for this great resource!

FCCLA is also launching a brand new "iRecruit" membership campaign for the 2012-2013 school year!!! Members will have the opportunity to showcase their recruiting skills on the individual, chapter, and state levels to help reach our goal of 213,000 members. The incentives offered this year are incredible and give some great opportunities for friendly competition. Prizes for winners include an iPod Touch, VIP Pass to NLC, Chapter Highlight in Teen Times, and much more!  So go to for more information, find some enthusiastic FCCLA members , and start RECRUITING! 

Will you help us reach our goal???